One commonality among men and women is the need to be right. This is a need in day-to-day life arguments and even more so in romantic relationships. We may start out in a genuine argument with (at least in own minds) just cause only for one or both sides beating the subject to death and forgetting exactly what the fight was about it the first place. It then becomes less about resolution and more about winning. When Pat Banatar said love was a battlefield, she was giving us valuable advice about how relationships can be just as moody as the sea. You shore yourself up against the waves or get swept away. Sometimes, a way in keeping your head above water is letting someone else draw you to shore and letting them decide which way to go. Sometimes, it’s easier to float on than fight.
I know speaking for myself I can be a very argumentative person when I feel like I’m getting steamrolled. I keep going and going until either I get my “opponent” to work with me towards a happy medium or until I verbally beat them into submission and get bragging rights to being “right”. In the moment, it doesn’t matter at all that both sides are still unhappy because in my mind being right is the equivalent and it enough, sometimes even everything. There’s just something about hearing someone say the words: “you’re right” that makes things so sweet during a fight that can make you feel downright warm towards the other side and willing to end the fight. It’s only after the smoke clears that we realize that nothing has really changed and the only victory is a hollow one.
I will admit that everyone deserves a win every once in a while. But I wonder, in the landscape of relationships is it better to be right or happy?